CLIMATE CHANGE-SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND
Mass., Conn., RI senators highlight climate change
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are among 28 lawmakers who are preparing to hold the Senate floor all night long to urge congressional action on climate change.
The 28 lawmakers are members of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, a group formed to highlight climate change.
Most members are expected to take the Senate floor beginning Monday evening until about 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says the action is intended to send a message that "it's time for Congress to wake up and get serious" with addressing climate change.
Whitehouse says the cost of Congress' inaction on climate is too high for communities and the economy.
Other members of the task force include Massachusetts U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, and Connecticut U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.
Dozens arrested at Massachusetts 'Blarney Blowout'
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Police have arrested more than 40 people participating in the pre-St. Patrick's Day "Blarney Blowout" around the University of Massachusetts' flagship campus in Amherst.
Amherst Police Capt. Jennifer Gundersen says that 44 people have been arrested and four officers suffered minor injuries as they worked to disperse thousands of unruly students in several large crowds on Saturday.
Police had to use pepper spray to disperse a crowd of students outside an off-campus apartment complex who were throwing beer cans and bottles at police.
A spokesman for UMass says that students arrested will have details of their behavior reviewed under the school's code of conduct. Sanctions can include suspension or expulsion.
Most have been charged with failing to disperse and disorderly conduct.
Tea party member Fisher seeks Mass. primary spot
BOSTON (AP) - Mark Fisher, a conservative Republican and tea party member, is hoping to challenge Charlie Baker for the Republican nomination for governor in Massachusetts.
The small business owner from Shrewsbury announced his candidacy Dec. 16, the 240th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.
His campaign has focused heavily on removing tolls from the Massachusetts Turnpike. He said politicians promised to do that decades ago but never delivered, even after the original highway bonds were paid off
Fisher's other campaign planks include cracking down on welfare fraud and illegal immigration.
He calls himself a "full platform, no excuses necessary, loyal and proud Republican."
Fisher needs the support of at least 15 percent of delegates to the March 22 GOP state convention to earn a spot on the September primary ballot.
Cape Cod residents: Shutter Pilgrim nuclear plant
BOSTON (AP) - Residents from across Cape Cod are planning to converge on the Statehouse to call on Gov. Deval Patrick to help shut down the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth.
Activists are tying their visit Monday to the eve of the third anniversary of the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan.
Residents say they want Patrick to press the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shutter the plant. The commission voted in 2012 to relicense Pilgrim through 2032.
The plant's operators say the facility is safe and secure, adding that it produces 10 percent of Massachusetts' electrical needs.
Patrick said last year that it was not clear to him that Massachusetts needs Pilgrim to meet all of the state's electricity needs.
Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is set to close this year
LIQUID GAS PLANT
Massachusetts energy company plans Groveton plant
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A proposal to convert part of a shuttered North Country paper mill into a transfer station for natural gas could create 84 jobs and cut the town of Groveton's tax bills in half.
Clear Energy of Marlborough, Mass., made a pitch to the town last month to use 8 acres on the former Wausau paper plant to convert natural gas into liquefied natural gas. The fuel would then be trucked to consumers in southern New England.
If approved, the project could bring $1.7 million annually in taxes and double the current tax base in the rural town north of White Mountain National Forest.
Town Selectman Jim Tierney (TEER'-nee) says the town has embraced the proposal as a way to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the economically distressed region.
MIT STUDENT DEATH
Authorities investigate death of MIT grad student
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - A 23-year-old graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been found dead in his room.
MIT says in a statement that the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office is following standard procedure in investigating the death of Hadi Kasab and that campus police have determined there is no threat to the community.
The Saida, Lebanon, native was found Thursday in his room at the Sidney-Pacific graduate residence hall. The cause of death has not been determined.
MIT says Kasab was second-year graduate student in its Computation for Design and Optimization program.
MIT President L. Rafael Reif encouraged students who may be affected by Kasab's death to take advantage of the institute's support and mental health services during "this painful time."
BOSTON-DUBAI AIR SERVICE
Patrick to celebrate Boston-Dubai nonstop service
BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick is preparing to join operators of Boston's Logan International Airport when the Middle East's biggest airline launches nonstop service to its home airport in the desert city of Dubai.
Emirates Airline is set to launch the daily service between Boston and Dubai on Monday afternoon.
Patrick is scheduled to welcome passengers from the first Emirates' flight to Boston, making the New England city the eighth U.S. destination for the Gulf Arab carrier.
The Emirates flights will operate on 266-passenger Boeing 777-200LR planes with three classes of service. Flight 237 will depart Dubai daily at 9:45 a.m. and arrive at Boston at 3:15 p.m. Flight 238 will depart Boston at 10:55 p.m. and arrive in Dubai at 7:10 p.m. the next day.
The flights offer travelers from Boston alternative access to East Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
COMMUTER RAIL IMPROVEMENTS-MASS
Gov. Patrick to open Yawkey Commuter Rail Station
BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick is set to celebrate the opening of the renovated Yawkey Commuter Rail Station, a development that has paved the way to double service along the 44-mile line running from Worcester to Framingham.
Patrick will officially open the station and kick off the enhanced service to Worcester at a ceremony scheduled for Monday morning in Boston.
The governor broke the ground on the renovation in November 2010. It was originally scheduled for completion on the spring of 2012, and cost $13.5 million. There was no immediate information on final costs.
The project is increasing service on the Worcester-to-Framingham Commuter Rail Line from 17 to 40 stops per day.
The station will run entirely on solar power, making it the Commonwealth's only "net-zero energy rail station."
US education chief heading to Boston for meetings
BOSTON (AP) - The federal education chief is traveling to Massachusetts for a series of meetings on transformation of underperforming schools, career and technical education and teacher preparation programs.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan will visit Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury on Tuesday. The school is undergoing a dramatic transformation from one of the lowest performing schools in Massachusetts to an excelling school.
On Wednesday, Duncan will visit Worcester Technical High School to discuss career and technical education with educators, community college officials and business leaders.
He will also hold discuss learning and progress at Arthur Coolidge Middle School in Reading before returning to Boston, where he is scheduled to visit Match Charter Public High School for a discussion with educators, state and local leaders on the importance of high quality teacher preparation programs.
Snowmobile crash kills Massachusetts man in Maine
NEW PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Police say a Massachusetts man was killed when he tried to cross a Maine road on his snowmobile and was hit by a pickup truck.
The Somerset County Sheriff's Department says the accident happened around 6:15 p.m. Friday as 57-year-old Robert Peavey of Gloucester was trying to cross a state route in New Portland.
The snowmobile came off a trail in the woods and was hit by a southbound pickup driven by 69-year-old Leroy Hiscock of Livermore Falls.
Peavey was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hiscock was treated for injuries while a 7-year-old boy in the truck was not injured. One of two dogs in Hiscock's truck was killed in the crash.
911 CALLER-NEW BEDFORD
New Bedford boy reports house fire, saving 2 lives
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - Authorities are praising a 9-year-old boy for helping save the lives of two people when he called 911 to report that his two-story home was on fire in New Bedford.
Firefighters responding to the Dartmouth Street home early Saturday found a woman unconscious on the second-floor landing. They also found a man with second- and third-degree burns covering more than 50 percent of his body.
Both victims were received emergency treatment at the scene before they were taken to Rhode Island Hospital.
Authorities say the boy called 911 at about 4:30 a.m. to report the house fire. Police and firefighters found the smoke visible on the first and second floor.
No one else was injured in the blaze and investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.
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